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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Post fare cut, BEST’s revenue collection in coins goes up by Rs. 10L

BEST officials collected 10 lakh rupees worth of coins post fare cut.

mumbai Updated: Jul 29, 2019 06:58 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
People lined up for the double decker bus at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.
People lined up for the double decker bus at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.(Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times)
         

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) witnessed a surge in the number of passengers from 17 lakh to 25 lakh after reducing the fares of its buses on July 9. However, the transport body is now facing a new challenge.

BEST officials said that after the minimum fare was brought down to Rs. 5 from the earlier Rs. 8, the worth of coins collected each day has gone up by Rs. 10 lakh.

Before the fare cut, each conductor would deposit coins worth Rs. 100-Rs. 150 in his respective depot every day. However, now each conducter deposits coins worth Rs. 300-Rs. 400, resulting in a drastic surge in the coin collection at its 26 depots.

“Earlier, we used to get coins worth Rs. 3 lakh-Rs. 4 lakh collectively from all the 26 depots every day. But now the coin collection has gone up to Rs. 13 lakh-Rs. 14 lakh,” BEST’s chief spokesperson Hanumant Gophane said.

According to BEST officials, they are receiving more coins in the denominations of Rs. 5 and Rs. 10, as compared to those in denominations of Rs. 1 and Rs. 2.

Suhas Samant, BEST committee and labour union member, said the staff at the cash departments in the depots are finding it difficult to count coins in large numbers. According to him, a depot in the suburbs had recently received Rs. 95,000 in coins.

“The cash departments are already short-staffed, as most of the employees have been transferred to other departments after the introduction of e-ticketing machines. Hence, it is quite tedious for the existing staff to count such large number of coins,” said Samant.

BEST is now finding various ways to tackle the situation. The coins of denominations Rs. 1 and Rs. 2 are given to the conductors every day, as it is mandatory for them to carry at least Rs. 100 at the start of their duty.

BEST officials are also exchanging loose change with the traders and general public, if they approach them. Besides this, a private bank is also taking some amount of coins from them everyday.

The transport body might also give the coins to its 35,000 employees as a part of their salary if they continue to find it difficult to exchange them.

Last year in December, BEST had distributed Rs. 400 in coins of Rs. 10 denomination to its employees as a part of their salary.

Despite the surge in the passengers, BEST’s revenue dipped from Rs. 2.12 crore to Rs. 1.64 crore.

First Published: Jul 29, 2019 06:58 IST

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